February 26, 2021

Bounedjah on target as Al-Sadd put five past Al-Kharaitiyat

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Baghdad Bounedjah was among the scorers as Al-Sadd recorded a 5-1 win at Al-Kharaitiyat in the Qatar Stars League season opener on Thursday.

Xavi Hernandez’s men finished the previous campaign in third place, six points behind champions Al-Duhail, this is despite going unbeaten in their final run of games at the restart, winning four and drawing once.

The Doha-based outfit started strongly at the Education City Stadium with former Arsenal playmaker and Spain international Santi Cazorla giving them the lead in the 27th minute.

Bounedjah’s goal was the next to come in the 55th minute of play, the Africa Cup of Nations winner nicely chipping the ball over Al-Kharaitiyat goalie Shehab Ellethy.

Cazorla made it 3-0 four minutes later, before Moroccan midfielder Rachid Tiberkanine pulled one back for the home side to give them a glimmer of hope. Those hopes were however further dashed when Mohamed Salam Rahama Aamir put the ball into his own net. 23-year-old Qatar forward Akram Afif then placed the final nail in the coffin in the 84th minute.

Bounedjah was replaced in the 81st minute by Mohammed Al Bayati.

The 28-year-old has been a key figure for Al-Sadd since joining them from Etoile du Sahel in 2015, scoring 114 goals in 103 competitive appearances, also providing 31 assists. 96 of those goals have come in the Stars League, astonishingly in just 74 top-flight outings.

In the time spent in Doha so far, Bounedjah has won six titles that include the Stars League in 2019 and two Qatar Cups, the most recent in 2020 where they dispatched league champions Al-Duhail 4-0 in the final.

Bounedjah has also previously featured for RCG Oran and USM El Harrach in his home country.

He is fondly remembered for scoring Algeria’s first goal at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations which ended in a 2-0 Group C win over Kenya and also the only goal in the final against Senegal which secured the Desert Foxes’ second continental title and first since 1990.